Spiders are scary as well as fascinating animals. Almost everyone has a hateful approach towards such creatures specially when it’s about the largest spiders in the world. The long, scampering legs and the possibly dangerous bites of some spiders are the reasons that people are scared when they see a spider. On the other hand, when people watch spiders building their webs, they get fascinated towards them. The web is not only used to catch insects but it is the silk produced by the spiders which is very useful to humans. Spider web has been used by humans for ages. In ancient Greece spider web was used as a stitching thread to hold and close the wounds. The Australians used spider web as a fishing line while on the other hand the New Guineans used it in making nets. The agility and strength of the spider web has been known all over the world for thousands of years.
Spiders have a wide variety of species and sizes. They range in size from the tiny Patu marplesi, which is about 0.43 mm in length, to the Goliath Birdeater, which may have a legspan as long as up to 28 cm. The giant huntsman spider has a legspan of up to 30 cm. Some spiders have four pairs of eyes while some have only three or two pairs of eyes. However, a spider bite can be painful and may result in local swelling of the bitten area. Most of the spiders are venomous but not harmful to humans. The poison is mainly used to paralyze and digest the pray.
About 40,000 species of spiders have been discovered and named so far. These species live in many different parts of the world. Some of the largest species of spiders are discussed here.
Huntsman Spider: Huntsman spider is known for its speed. Their scientific name is Sparassidae, however they are called huntsman because of their mode of hunting. They are also called Giant Crab Spiders because of their big size and crab like appearance. They are mostly found in tropical or warm temperate regions. The size of a Huntsman spider is very big and some spiders can grow up to a size bigger than a normal human hand.
The Huntsman spiders have eight eyes and legspan ranging from 250 to 300 mm. These spiders do not build webs but only hunt for food. They live under tree barks thus they are also popularly known as Wood Spiders in many parts. However they can also be seen in houses and other areas of human habitat. They are venomous but not harmful to humans. They mostly feed on insects and other small animals.
Wolf Spider: A wolf spider is also mentioned as the ground spider and the hunting spider. It belongs to the Lycosidae family of spiders that means wolf. Another reason that compares it with wolf is that it hunts in a pack or a group, just like a wolf. Wolf spiders are daytime spiders and prefer living at warm places.
A wolf spider also has eight eyes and body sizes ranging from 1 to 35 mm. Wolf spiders are poisonous but not lethal to humans, however their bites can be very painful. They are mostly found in fields and pastures and feed on insects. They are considered important because they help controlling many harmful insects by eating them. This spider can be violent when it comes to hunting their prey, but does not bite a person unless forced or harmed. It attacks its prey without using a trap or web traps.
Goliath Tarantula: The Goliath Bird-eating Spider is the world’s largest species of tarantulas. The scientific name for this species of tarantula is Theraphosa Blondi. It is big and hairy and lives in a deep hole in the ground. It is found in the wet swamps and primary rainforests of South America. The biggest ever spider recorded have a leg span of 30.5cm and weighs around 70 grams. Its body can be light brown or dark brown in color, with thick hairy legs and a large abdomen.
The bird-eating tarantula is aggressive in nature and poisonous too. A bite of this spider will cause swelling and pain. They feed on small birds and insects. When it is at threat, it rubs the bristles on its legs to make a hissing noise to frighten off other creatures and humans. This hissing noise can be heard from a distance of 5 meters.
Brazilian Salmon Pink: The Brazilian Salmon Pink spider is one of the largest spiders in the world. The leg span of these spiders may vary from 20 cm to 25 cm. A fully grown female Brazilian Pink Salmon may weigh up to 100 grams. They are found in the north-eastern parts of Brazil, thus named as Brazilian spiders. They feed on small snakes, lizards and insects.
They are poisonous but slow to bite. Their fangs may attain a length of an inch and are also dangerous to humans. However it is common hobby among people to keep these spiders as pets.
Grammostola Mollicoma: Grammostola Mollicoma is also a species of Tarantula family. This species is also one of the rare spider species. Their body size is very big ranging from 5 cm to 8 cm. They are an aggressive creature found only in South America in parts of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina.
They are also one of the pet spiders that people like to keep. They are not harmful to humans and mostly feed on big insects like cockroaches, crickets etc. Males are smaller than female spiders. Female spiders can feed on almost any insect as well as on mice.